What is it that you would never blog about?

What is it that you would never blog about? Even though you think you should be able to. Something you feel strongly about and you feel should be discussed and something you are well within your legal rights to discuss, but you self censor and don’t write about it. What stops you? Do you think blogging about it would help you or somebody else? Does not-blogging about it benefit you or anybody else?

Some bloggers seemed to be censored by their immediate families – they may not write against religion, tradition, sexual orientation etc. Does your family read your blog? How much influence does their reading or not reading makes to the way you blog?

Some bloggers are ‘censored’ by the comments that disagree too strongly – this seems to happen mostly if your political ideology supports tolerance and secularism.

Bloggers who write about women’s issues also face criticism and troll attacks, (it is generally assumed they are women).

If you did not self censor what do you think would you like to blog about? What do you think should never be discussed on blogs or at least you would not discuss, even though that’s what you blog about.

Would you criticize something if you are not sure it would help the cause – just to convey your own views on the subject?

This is my second post for Make Blog Not War – A Freedom of Expression Training for Bloggers.

81 thoughts on “What is it that you would never blog about?

  1. I would never ever want to blog about the true story of my family. For a good reason – I will feel very bad when someone picks it up during a discussion. A moderately happy picture is what I want to talk about.

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  2. I ma not scared to talk on a random issue, but when it is something close to my family, be it relatives, I will avoid the mention. that’s cause it will greatly hurt my family if they ever come to know.

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  3. I do not know if there is any topic off discussion as far as my blogging ideology is concerned. I may not blog about something purely because I have no interest in it such as politics and religion. These two topics do not intersect my life at any point and so my knowledge regarding them is also quite limited.

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  4. Hi IHM, I’m finally back to the blogging world!🙂
    I would never blog about the emotional problems that I face in my life. It is because if my family reads it, they would start manipulating to tell me how blessed and blah blah blah.
    How are you?

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  5. I’ve just recently come to know how much a pseudonym helps! I never wrote about certain things while I was going through them (a really nasty run with alcoholism), but now that I have some distance, I am starting to. I think it would help other female alcoholics in India since we’re such an invisible breed due to the tremendous stigma surrounding this disease, especially in women.

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    • I think if a blog helps even ONE person, it’s worth doing. I was really helped by the posts on a site called women for sobriety and am now two years clean. I could never really approach people around me for that kind of support (I barely interacted with other posters, just reading was enough to feel less like a crazy alien). Writing about the lost years of shame is really hard and I’ve barely begun but it’s a resolution.

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      • Exactly.

        IHM’s blog has been an invaluable source of validation to me because I discovered that “I WAS NOT ALONE”.

        I spent many misreable years thinking I was a freak because I believed in equity in marriage in a society that believes in quite the opposite.

        Many women feel islolated and alienated in real life because the silencing is SO strong.

        Most people in real life would ostracise a woman who has been raped, is divorced, an alcoholic or is a social pariah for any reason.

        I think blogs like IHM’s are an invaluable source of support and community.

        You realise that others think like you too!🙂

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    • Ah, women and alcohol.

      That’s a can of worms. Bellejarre, if I may, I’d like to request you to blog about it.

      Many female alcoholics are closet drinkers in India.

      I had a friend who disguised her drinking by spiking caffienated beverages when at home.

      Women who drink are so stigmatised that female alcoholism is as strong a taboo as homosexuality.

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    • @Bellejarre

      I really haven’t given a thought to alcoholism in Indian women. It must be difficult for men in India with alcoholism. And it must be doubly difficult for women to deal with it because of the enormous amount of stigma placed on drinking in our society.

      My parents think that drinking = alcoholism and that there is no responsible drinking.

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      • @ biwo, yes I’ll try to do it. I was a little beyond spiking caffeinated drinks though! But yes, the problem exists in varying degrees. I tried alcoholics anonymous for a while (wasn’t for me, too many men, too much groupthink, too public) and got to meet a few other women with this problem. My dilemma nowadays is that my in-laws have no clue about what a drunk I was and I feel so tempted to tell them, I don’t know why. Hopefully, blogging will be my outlet instead. They think I’m inordinately sati savitri-esque since I refuse even the tiniest drop of wine (if I had it, their entire bar would end up dry ha ha).

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  6. I would have loved to continue the story about my parents (there’s nothing scandalous in it though)…but my mom made it very clear that she would fly to India and kick my behind if I were to continue it.

    I also took out one entry about my issues with the Mahabharat and how an alcoholic who’s addicted to gambling can be called a righteous man. I didn’t get any troll attacks on that one but I saw how people were responding on other people’s blogs and figured I didn’t want to deal with it.

    I’ve gotten a few trollish comments on supposedly being unfair about Indian culture etc. etc. I just ignore, and now I’ve gotten blogger to block a specific IP address. What bloggers can do about these trolls (and often, I find that it’s one person who trolls many blogs) is to make other bloggers aware about them. Something I’ve noticed about trolls is that the first thing they attack about a female blogger is her looks. And if they can’t attack that then they come up with some half baked insults which you’d expect from a middle schooler.

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  7. I would usually try to not write a post in anger… I also avoid personal details about my life, mainly because it would mean asking others for their permission to write about them which I find tedious.

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  8. I don’t think I will ever write about my parents’ separation or my father. And the reason being it still brings bad memories back, even though it has been almost 8-9 years now! And though I do mention it here in the comments, writing anything more publicly will just take too much out of me emotionally. My mom does read my blog but I don’t think she will have any issue if I write about it. I think I am too chicken to face my emotions involved!

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  9. Besides my husband, no other family member has read my blog. They are fully aware of its existence though I have not shared the URL with them. Honestly, I wouldn’t want them to read the current state of my blog. A number of partial happenings AND emotional postings has been posted (related to me and my husband). It would not be fair to my husband as I don’t want my family to have a not so nice picture of him. Of course, they are aware of the major fights we have had relating to his parents. That’s another ball game altogether.

    My husband and I fight then kiss and make up. This would not be visible on the blog, would it? We would have moved on to another argument by then.😀

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  10. I’ve had enough of this self-censoring my whole life. I spent some 21 years of my life censoring myself. I definitely do not want to continue it further, I love my new uncensored self, it feels like human and not like some robot who only says what it is programmed to say. Though I confess that I still censor myself to a great extent, but I am learning with time and I know that this unnecessary censorship will fade away eventually.

    Having said that, I might not disclose too much personal details on my blog. I will not disclose names, places etc. of family members/friends/relatives if I am blogging about them( whether the content is positive or negative) to respect their privacy.

    //Would you criticize something if you are not sure it would help the cause – just to convey your own views on the subject?//

    I guess answer is yes.

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  11. “Would you criticize something if you are not sure it would help the cause – just to convey your own views on the subject?”
    Well frankly yes, I have a right to express my opinion. But I would try to do it in a polite manner without causing offense.
    You know I often write humorous posts about people I meet and their quirks or funny mannerisms etc. The posts are light hearted and never meant to cause offense (I hide the identities anyways) But lately I find myself writing such posts less and less as I am afraid the person will read it and not take too kindly to their humorous portrayal! I guess that’s a drawback of writing under your true identity!

    Another very uncomfortable thing is when people (who I know) ask me to review their books on my blog. A few times I have positively hated the book and then spent sleepless nights on what sort of review to write. I didn’t want to (couldn’t!) be blatantly honest but didn’t want to lie on my blog as well. (That’s something I’ll never do!) So I ended up writing diplomatically worded book reviews🙂 . I’ve stopped accepting requests for book reviews now!

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  12. My life, specially the mundane details- you know how I live, who I live with and so on. Not because i am censoring myself, but simply because I value my privacy and am not narcissistic enough to want to post details online for the edification of the universe.

    Other than that- I used to be a little addicted to blogging a few years ago, but the urge has passed me. I honestly don’t care if I do not get too many blog readers- only the “right” ones. I censor the comments section heavily- and do not mind the lack of traffic. I guess honestly I can blog about anything I feel strongly enough about- no one reads it anyhow ( and no, I do not mind). But I have to get around to doing some writing first.😀

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  13. I really regret not having a psuedonym. I censor myself on various issues – especially my own personal life/family but also political issues especially to do with communal politics and my opinions about the government in Gujarat where I currently live. I can’t even really voice it in real life around most people I meet here. I do voice it in certain ways but there is heavy self censorship involved🙂
    Very relevant questions raised IHM.

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    • Is it not necessary to make your opinions known at least in real life?

      I understand that many are sensitive to opinions on religion and communalism, but that’s precisely why we all feel that secularists are in a minority.

      Most of us keep silent about it online and offline.

      I try to counter communal biases as much as I can because I fear that a collective silence is allowing communalists to dominate public discourse.

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      • I should rephrase what I said. I do argue against communal biases. In Gujarat I have often been in heated conversations over dinner. But I have learnt to tone down and get a few points across and not necessarily give my entire opinion coz that way you have more chance to make a point. Because it can really be an everyday combat same with feminism. But I end up angry and
        frustrated! See what i mean?

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  14. Being cautious in my speech and demeanor comes naturally to me and even the relative anonymity of a random username does not allow me to let my guard down completely. I wouldn’t be able to blog about certain personal/family matters because I wouldn’t like to hurt the feelings of those involved should they happen to come across it, unlikely though it is– at the moment the only family member who reads my blog is my brother.

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  15. WARNING! Long comment ahead. Skip if you hate long comments.

    IHM,

    Your questions are interesting.
    The answers are influenced by the fact that I shun anonymity.
    I write under my own name whenever I blog or whenever I post a comment.

    Though I don’t have a blog of my own I do contribute guest postings to blogger friends who kindly agree to host them occasionally. Many of these are in Hindi. Besides there are several hundreds of my postings in seven different yahoo groups devoted to special interests or subjects and community matters.

    —————
    Your questions
    —————
    ==========
    My answers
    ==========

    ———————————-
    What is it that you would never blog about? Even though you think you should be able to. Something you feel strongly about and you feel should be discussed and something you are well within your legal rights to discuss, but you self censor and don’t write about it. What stops you? Do you think blogging about it would help you or somebody else? Does not-blogging about it benefit you or anybody else?
    ———————————–
    ===========================
    I would not blog about the persons closest to me in my life, viz wife and children. They value their privacy. I don’t mind mentioning some harmless family details which are in the nature of simple facts, but I would not discuss family issues in public. I could write volumes about family incidents, my dealings with my wife and my children if I overcome this inhibition. I restrain myself because I know they would disapprove strongly if they came to know. The only exception I made was a light-hearted post on how I happen to have got married. That story has been narrated orally to several friends and relatives and I therefore did not hesitate to blog about it in public.

    I know my family is not too happy with some of the things I reveal in public and have pleaded for restraint. My son particularly disapproves of most of my blog posts where I mention him. He is a very private person. My daughter too has joined issue with me on some of my views aired in public. Once while in USA as her guest I wrote rather strongly about my abhorrence of the Talibanis in Pakistan and Afghanistan. I had used her laptop to do so. She was extremely upset and was paranoid about it and strictly forbid me from doing so in future. I could understand her paranoia. Post 9/11 all mails about Islamic terrorism, Taliban, Iraq , Afghanistan, etc would probably be detected by their “internet radar” and the IP address identified. My daughter wanted none of the hassles involved later if someone decided to investigate further. On another occasion, I have edited a published blog post because she took exception to something in it. It was just a harmless picture of her two cars. She objected to the number plates being readable in the picture and I had to whiten out the numbers to make her feel okay! She felt that the numbers in the number plates can be used to identify her name and address. I take absolutely no liberties with my son in law. He is never even mentioned any where.

    I don’t see any benefit in blogging about them except the relief one feels in venting. These are the only occasions when I feel I should perhaps blog anonymously. But somehow anonymity puts me off and besides I feel I am cheating my family writing anonymously about them. Besides I feel anonymity takes something away from a blog. I take more seriously a blog where the person’s identity is known. I read anonymous blogs only when the quality is too good to ignore. I usually never casually hop over to blog where the author is anonymous.

    I would never blog about my organisation, my office colleagues or incidents in the office. I would have had plenty of material to blog about if blogging had been in vogue during the seventies, eighties and nineties when I was professionally very active. I wrote diaries then and also wrote long letters to near and dear ones on various issues. The word blog had not yet been coined.

    Today I have memories only about my career and often write about harmless incidents to entertain others but I avoid anything controversial regarding my colleagues and the organisations I worked for.

    Later when I became self employed, and ran my own organisation for 6 years, I could have blogged about my staff and my experiences in managing them. There was plenty to write about but I totally avoided the temptation.
    ======================

    ——————————-
    Some bloggers seemed to be censored by their immediate families – they may not write against religion, tradition, sexual orientation etc. Does your family read your blog? How much influence does their reading or not reading makes to the way you blog?
    —————————–

    Yes, I am censored by my family members as I mentioned. I hesitate to write about the three topics (except tradition) you mentioned to avoid embarrassment to them and to other readers. I avoid writing about religion as I am not competent. Writing about sex can’t even be considered in today’s society for persons of my age group. It would be too embarrassing. May be the next generation will be more liberal and tolerant.

    My family does not read my blog posts on their own initiative. They read only those that I forward to them or tell them about. But recently my son came to know about something I wrote when his friends sent him a link. He was not happy with what I had written and chided me. It was absolutely nothing to be offended about. I wrote like a proud father who was happy with this son’s achievements. His friends had a great time pulling his leg. He was acutely embarrassed by that piece. Even in a recent google hunt, he claims he was embarrassed about some other things I had written and advised me not mention his name as far as possible. Even my recent announcement about some of his articles appearing in the print media did not enthuse him. He asked me not to mention his full name as that makes them appear in Google searches.

    I am now very selective in what I forward to my children. My daughter has told me she wants to read whatever I write in public but this I suspect is because she wants to monitor what and how much I say in public about the family, not because she is interested in my views. Since then I avoid discussing her, my son in law, my son and my wife and their activities except for some harmless general information and that too only when relevant.

    Once I decide that I am not going to forward my post to my family, I feel free and uninhibited. I have an advantage. I don’t have a permanent address in blogosphere, like you have which my children can monitor. I post here and there so my family won’t know where to look, even if they decide to get interested in what I am writing. Some hope! They are busy with their own lives and I don’t think they would be interested in what I am writing unless I happen to write about them.

    My wife is totally uninterested in blogs. She has observed me spending a lot of time on this and is rather amused at this crazy interest in the writings of total strangers, but unless I call her to the computer and read out something that I or others are writing, she shows absolutely no interest in this. She has other interests of her own and we mutually respect these differences and enjoy some common interests we have.
    ===============================
    ———————–
    Some bloggers are ‘censored’ by the comments that disagree too strongly – this seems to happen mostly if your political ideology supports tolerance and secularism.

    Bloggers who write about women’s issues also face criticism and troll attacks, (it is generally assumed they are women).

    If you did not self censor what do you think would you like to blog about? What do you think should never be discussed on blogs or at least you would not discuss, even though that’s what you blog about.
    =====================
    I don’t allow myself to be censored by the comments from those who disagree too strongly.
    I would like to blog about EVERYTHING with the exceptions noted below.
    I would not blog about my finances, topics related to sex, and my family matters. I may blog moderately about my health issues but I know of nobody who might be interested. I may blog about my career and business without commenting on the organisations, staff, colleagues and customers. Now that I have retired even this subject is out of my purview.
    ===========================
    ——————————————-
    Would you criticize something if you are not sure it would help the cause – just to convey your own views on the subject?
    —————————————

    ========================
    No. I would not. I rarely criticise publicly. I simply ignore what I don’t like.
    On the rare occasions I criticise something, I make sure I can stand my ground later.
    ========================

    Thanks for this opportunity to “blog” without actually blogging!
    Regards
    GV

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      • @Brown Vagabond,

        Gosh! , my “lapse” was nothing like that of Vikram Buddhi
        I just read about Vikram Buddhi after receiving the link from IHM in a private mail.

        I had written AGAINST the Taliban and their ideology and sympathised with the Afghan women and civil society.
        The US government should have been pleased if the word “Taliban” had been caught on their internet radar and they decided to follow up and read all the junk I had written.

        But my daughter wanted none of this stuff on her laptop, and wanted no mails on politics emanating from her IP address even if they would later be found harmless. Why put up with hassles from investigating agencies? She was in line for her green card at that time and wanted no risks whatever during those paranoid times.

        Yes, it would have been a different matter if the Al Quaeda or Taliban or the ISI were monitoring all mails. They would have liked to give me the Daniel Pearl treatment for what I wrote about them if only they understood!

        But I wonder if they have the means to monitor all cyber content and whether the irrelevant views of an insignificant Indian citizen would be worth bothering about and worth all the effort required to slice my neck.

        Any way, to keep my daughter happy, I complied with her request.

        I remember that my subsequent postings from her laptop and Ip address were on the variety of Dosas that I have tasted, cuddly polar bear cubs, and how the presence or absence of fur on animals influences our choice of our favourite animals. She was merely bored at reading them, not alarmed.

        Thanks for your concern.
        Greetings and good wishes from this Cyber Vagabond who has no permanent address in blogosphere. Like Raj Kapoor, I am a modern cyber Aawaara.

        Regards
        GV

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    • Oh dear, so much paranoia these days, and not completely unjustified either. I really identified with one of your points :
      ” I don’t have a permanent address in blogosphere, like you have which my children can monitor. I post here and there so my family won’t know where to look”

      Limiting my Internet communication to comments mostly feels kind of safer. Baby steps? IHM’s blog really rules. Can sure get lots of people talking, and it’s a valuable service.

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      • Yes Bellejarre, I too have noticed that many bloggers talk more here and post more often here than in their own blogs! I am a front runner in that list.
        No regrets about it really. I get more eyeballs here than elsewhere.
        Regards
        GV

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  16. Hmm… I don’t think there are very many things I won’t blog about if it interests me. But yes, I keep in mind whether my family would mind if I wrote about something that touches them. I can be very private at one instance and very open the next. I myself don’t know how I am gonna feel, so i take it as it comes.🙂 But I will not blog on something some topic I am not sure about.

    I started off writing about the mundane (and I was appreciated for that very fact that I made the mundane interesting) in my life. People do tend to dismiss personal blogs as narcissism. I used to wonder too, of what use is the funny blogs I write while others talk on social issues and are doing good to society. Oh I have read quite a few blog written in a holier than thou attitude questioning the motives of bloggers who did not write anything of value according ot them. But I found my answer to that. Some blogs have entertainment value. Humans need entertainment too, don’t they? Its not facts and figures always So, if the mundane in my life evokes a few laughs that is also a service. I have been told by many that they unwind at my page reading the humor blogs. And anyways, I simply love to write.
    If I have something to say I will definitely say it. It is not merely a matter of supporting a cause. If I have a view and feel like sharing it I will. Like I said, I love to write, its my views and there is no compulsion on anyone to read it.
    My family does read my blog. Some extended family members as well. The truth is when I write, I never think of the audience as individual people. I write what I want to. Its only later that the thought of each one who reads comes to mind.🙂

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  17. I try not to blog on family especially on kids and all.

    I regret using my real name and all, would have loved more to be a bit more anonymous, As I type and speak as I see things and what I feel, people usually cant accept it, so would have been nice ot be anonymous and comment on those blogs of people WHO DO KNOw me and write things which to me show nothing but hypocracy. I think i censor myself lest I lose the friendship..

    yes my friends and family all Read my blog. My friends send nasty emails to me🙂 when they come to know of something which i have not told them, like the latest episode which i wrote about and they are up in arms as why i did not tell them.

    I would not criticise anything its upto individual preference but yeah I will mention that this wont help or give my views as I hate all these rallys and Day’s celebrated for i feel they dont do anything other than a day out for the Few thats it .

    Trolls and bullies dont bother me , for I know for a fact that IF i ever come to know who they are they will surly have broken legs .. NO SECOND THOUGHTS about it.. I am not the one who will shy away from a Good fight🙂 MUUUU HA HA HA I can be bad tooooo

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  18. I don’t blog about anything negative in my life (Present blog post not included – feeling really shitty and venting was about as good as it was going to get! :P). My old blog was a personal one – very personal and I didn’t censor myself at all. To the point that my thoughts, under the guise on anonymity wound up being read by the very person they were about – my best friend. I nearly lost her as a friend because of that.

    Now I focus on the positive in my life – my passion for healthy living and fitness, books, movies, my dogs, my city. It’s a mix of everything.

    Probably though, if I had to really think about it, I censor myself a lot on the topic of sex. To be precise – my marriage. Not that I don’t allude to it – I just don’t blog about it as much as I used to.

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  19. When I first began reading your blog I was quite certain you would get a lot of what we call “hate mail” in the US. That’s the trolls you refer to who can’t seem to fathom anyone would have a different view point than theirs or who wish to have all things non-perfect swept under a proverbial rug. I beg to differ. Exposing things that are undesirable are the only way to make changes happen for the good of all people in a city, nation, the world. Just take the 12 step programs in all rehab centers for example. The very first step is ALWAYS admitting there is a problem and those programs have phenomenal success. I applaud you for what you do, even if sometimes it’s hard to read. You are responsible for helping make India the great nation all citizens want to believe it already is.

    There is very little I don’t blog about. I rarely censor myself and I’ve pissed off quite a few people I’m certain (because I too get trolls). That doesn’t mean the things I’m posting aren’t true, don’t happen etc. The one thing I don’t blog about is government and the only reason I don’t blog about it in a negative way when it’s deserved is because I’m working on visa issues for my husband. I don’t want to take my chances and I know the US government reads things and does background checks and basically sticks their nose in where it doesn’t belong. You can have an opinion, they just better like it if you want them to do their jobs. There will come a day though when that won’t be holding me back anymore and at that point I have plenty of posts saved up.>:D

    I also tend to stay as far as possible away from TMI issues. Most blog readers don’t want to hear all of that and most of it I don’t want to discuss lol. Any traveler who’s been to Indian understands “Delhi belly” so there’s no need for me to elaborate. I’ve seen bloggers do it and it’s not pretty.

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  20. I can’t blog about sports. Yeah, you read it right. It bores me to tears. I like PS3 though but try talking to me about cricket or any real sport and you might get a “you lost me” stare.🙂
    Some people have this unique ability to recognize cricket stars from any county by just looking at their pics. I am not even confident that I could do that for the Indian team.
    I also don’t like to blog about hardcore politics. It’s quite mundane.
    One thing I would like to blog about is how people follow religion blindly. I have stopped myself from writing about it but this is something I feel very strongly about.

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  21. 1.I normally prefer not writing anything negative, though a rare post does make it to my blog. Similarly, I rarely write opinioned blogs.
    2.My blog is more happy happy types so i feel talking about some social issues like rapes, politics, rambling about other religions, etc. will be out of place there. I may give a passing comment but no i won’t elaborate. For that I come here😉
    3.And yes, i agree with others here who talked about the negatives of writing under their real name. Though i sometimes wish that I had a pseudonym too, I feel that, writing under your name is good because then you have to take the responsibility for what you have written which is again good as it will give more credibility to your writing and opinions.
    4.I need not worry about negative comments from outside as I rarely write anything to evoke strong responses. But i have learnt to comment diplomatically now..
    5.I don’t write about Office too.
    6.I prefer not putting any photos of myself or anyone for that matter. I would still like some amount of anonymity left.
    7.As far as Trolls are concerned, I have only one message for them. Assassinate the Idea, not the character.

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  22. Isn’t using a pseudonym a kind of censoring, because you don’t want yourself (not necessarily applies to everyone) to be identified. It could be because of the nature of your comment/ blog or it could be plain security reasons!

    I can practically talk about anything to a group or in one-on-one depending on the nature of the interaction going on. But in a general forum like blogging you will probably be receptive to your image to some extent or maybe just to respect someone else feeling. Mostly it will be I think a fear of some repercussion and it could be family, just the random readers, friends or anyone. No one is probably going to kill, but there are things worse than killing, right?

    Personally, I would prefer to be out right frank & honest!

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  23. I’m almost ashamed to say: feminism.

    (I sometimes wish I could write about my family but that is usually in the heat of anger… obviously it’s not right for a non-anonymous blogger to badmouth her relatives in public to the whole world!)

    But when it comes to blogging about feminism, I find myself holding my tongue, imposing restrictions on myself (no blogging about feminism two consecutive posts!), and censoring myself to a great extent.

    I do this because I get a lot of criticism in real life for blogging about feminism. There are relatives who don’t like it: people of older generations say straight-up unkind things and spread gossip about me; people of my generation clothe their criticism in the guise of “jokes” and “lighthearted” insults on facebook for all my friendlist to see.

    And then there are my husband’s friends, who, when they see my posts, insult my *husband* (you know – calling him a joru ka gulam or namard – because of course having a feminist for a wife means that you handed your balls in when you tied the mangalsutra. My husband of course does NOT care, and has better friends who are more worthwhile, but I often can’t stand it that he is being insulted for things that *I* do.

    So it affects me. It makes me not want to express anything but the tamest of my opinions (which, if you know me, are already quite fiery… but it is frustrating not to be able to talk about the many rad-fem beliefs I hold)… and also, surprisingly, the most pro-feminist (I feel like if I were to be critical of mainstream feminism in any way, it would empower my real-life detractors and prove their point).

    The whole self-censorship thing is a combination of me being very silly and also legitimately trying to not become a real-life social outcaste.

    I’m still working on trying to find some middle ground.

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  24. Since I blog unde rmy real name and a lot of family and friends read my posts – I would not blog about an issue that is identifiable to someone I know for fear of compromising privacy. I can say on of my friend’s or cousins faced blah blah cause it would be instantly identifiable. Infact when I write poetry my MIL often asks me are you happy or not – I tell her – please do no associate the person you know with the poet!

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  25. My off topics include many “Isms” Politics, Religion, Traditions, Customs, Family…The reasons include, my being emotionally invested in it to the degree that I may not present it logically, and if I did I do have time constraints in dealing with comments; the fact that it brings about illogical thought processes in the people who read, though it is not my intent cause I like bringing a sense of awareness theres more joy and positivity in life, with my writing; and the fact that my ideas about most things change with time as I know more and I dont want to Write something and later have to retract from what I said. I zip it so I can go with the growing without feeling – Oops I shouldnt have said that.

    I have a feeling, I might even have to retract what I have written above.😛

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  26. For me, my blog is also a place where I deliberately stretch my boundaries, so there is very little I won’t not just talk about but lampoon at will. At the same time, there are things that I will not write. Mostly, it will be if it violates my ethics on some other factor (other than transparency and courage, that is). An example would be a leak of some information that can be gathered by a very small pool of people and thus risks compromising my source, or threatens the safety of all those who could have done it.

    I also write a lot about domestic abuse and woman hating attitudes I encounter in real life, which includes real people I live with like my husband or father. As a rule, I don’t “not write” to protect them or me from unpleasantness or shame, etc. At the same time, I do make sure that content of blogs are well balanced in the sense of an article in a week of writing everyday, for example as opposed to describing domestic violence in personal life all the time. This is less to avoid offending people, and more out of the realization that in a dual role, where I am also the victim of the crime I am reporting, it is very easy for the reporting to become skewed into something twisted and personal, which helps no one. I avoid that. A good rule of thumb for me on such issues is if I’d write it if the victim were someone else.

    Such things. I don’t have concrete rules, but in general, I don’t avoid writing to avoid discomfort – for me or another. Rather, I choose what to write based on if I think it is something useful for people to know.

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    • I’ve been following your blog. It can be pretty hard-hitting. I think it’s really brave of you to reveal so much under your own name. Amazes me, though, that your husband hasn’t tried to ‘intervene’ in some way!

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  27. I don’t think I can write about my husband, my parents, siblings, I am too protective about them.
    I felt the same about my in-laws too for a long time, but somehow the double standards got to me, and reading blogs like yours has kind of given me a voice, and I constantly talk about my rights as a woman, a wife and a DIL, this has changed a lot of things on the home front too, my in-laws think I have developed ‘bad company’ – as in – in the company of ‘not-so-well-raised – Indian women”😀 They have seen a sudden change in me not yielding much to their unreasonable demands ( I have to thank you IHM for that, I had felt very alone for a long time)

    I am very interested to read about culture, traditions, religion, domestic and international politics, minorities, women’s and children’s issues….I do not have a blog as I do not have any writing skills, but I think blogs like yours gives people like me a platform to share our opinions.

    Yes, I cannot write about homosexuality – I believe and support their rights but cant really talk about it much.

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  28. Since I hide under the cloak of The Brown Vagabond, I feel more free to speak. Although, I hold back my urge to write on personal stuff. I have no touch with my family members or friends, except for my mom and brother, who do not know me in the virtual world. Since I keep moving ever so often, neither do I make any new friends. Yet, I would never write about family matters.

    On social issues, I feel the cyber world has a lot of power. I do express my opinions more freely than I would in the real world.

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  29. I’ve stopped writing about how I feel about certain matters.. they are always conflicting!!
    I also don’t write about annoying relatives!😀
    Extremely personal stuff are also not blogged..🙂

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  30. i would write erotica. i’m not kidding. i like reading well-written erotica, and i know how AWFUL and puke-worthy badly written ones are. the only reason i don’t write it is because i fear mine might fall into category 2. and also, because i don’t think the few members of my family who do know about my blog may not take it well. and i don’t like to write under a pseudonym.

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  31. I am afraid to blog about how I feel that in our zeal to make society better for women, we don’t recognize the harms that men are required to embrace. I’m afraid to write, for fear of ostracism that even though I support a woman’s right to abort an unwanted fetus, I oppose the same woman’s right to force the father to pay child-support for a child he doesn’t want, should she choose not to abort. As a man in this age, I’m afraid of disagreeing with a mainstream female opinion lest I be labeled a misogynist.

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  32. Good post.
    I started blogging about 5 yrs ago and as my first blog title suggest, I wanted to blog about issues in my work as a doctor .
    http://malayalidoc.blogspot.com
    I started as an anonymous blogger named Charakan, in memory of the famed Indian Physician of the same name. I used to self censor a lot to hide my identity as well as my patient’s identity.
    Then inspired from discussions in other blogs including this one, I started a socio-political blog under the same pseudonym of Charakan.
    http://mytake-charakan.blogspot.com
    Now I have shifted that blog to current address in wordpress came out of anonymity. This is my background.
    I have some times restricted myself from blogging about things which I want to blog about.
    I have severely criticised Court rulings and Right wing communal politicians. But I was reluctant in attacking religion, especially those not of my family background, and in showing my atheist views to my public. Now I believe I
    should do it more forcefully.
    My wife and now my daughter read my blogs but that do not affect my writing as I do not deal with personal issues.
    I am energised by comments that strongly disagree with my views.
    I criticise things mainly to help to convey my overall World view to my readers. So I do not criticise just for the sake of criticism.

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